Microsoft Highlights Windows 11 Momentum

Posted on January 26, 2022 by Paul Thurrott in Windows 11 with 39 Comments

Microsoft said today that Windows usage was up 10 percent over pre-pandemic levels and that Windows 11 is off to a great start.

This information is in addition to my two reports from earlier today regarding a public preview of new Windows 11 features coming in February and that the combined user base of Windows 10 and Windows 11 now exceeds 1.4 billion monthly active PCs.

Windows 11 is off a strong start, Microsoft tells me: customers are accepting the Windows 11 upgrade offer in Windows Update at twice the rate it saw for Windows 10. And the software giant says that the Windows 11 upgrade offer is now entering its final phase of availability, putting it ahead of its initial schedule of mid-2022.

Microsoft credits these advances to a “structural shift in PC demand and usage,” driven by the pandemic. But it feels that the changes—“the rise in hybrid work and learning, shifts in entertainment habits and distribution models, and changing consumer habits for everyday tasks”–are “enduring.”

“The PC market saw the biggest growth in a decade,” Microsoft’s Panos Panay noted. “Global PC shipments surpassed 340 million in 2021, and according to Canalys that growth is 27 percent more than 2019. This quarter, we saw nearly 50 percent growth in people who plan to use their PC for creativity, gaming or for work. We continue to see people across organizations, schools, and homes recognize the benefits of a PC for every person.”

Most of those sales, of course, were of Windows 10-based PCs, but that will shift dramatically in 2022. As for Windows 11, Microsoft says that it is “a catalyst for engagement and growth,” with—and this boggles the mind given the reality here—“the highest quality scores and product satisfaction of any version of Windows we’ve ever shipped.”

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Comments (39)

39 responses to “Microsoft Highlights Windows 11 Momentum”

  1. navarac

    "As for Windows 11, Microsoft says that it is “a catalyst for engagement and growth,” 

    Unfortunately, it has also been a catalyst for division and voluble dissent :-)

    • wright_is

      Yes, I like the visual look of 11, but I don't have a PC on which it can run (Core i5 6xxxxU or Ryzen 1700, neither of which have TPM 2.0) and there are too many missing features that I use on a constant basis (E.g. jump-lists on pinned application on the taskbar, I probably use that at least once an hour), let alone the minor quibbles.

      At home, I've dumped Windows on the Ryzen 1700, it is now running SUSE, only my Spectre X360 laptop still has Windows on it.

      Windows 11 certainly isn't at a stage, where I would be comfortable rolling it out to our users at work. We have no plans to go to 11, in fact, I downgraded about a dozen laptops to 10 during initial set-up over the Christmas period.

      • zeromus2003

        I wanted to roll out Windows 11 for the sake of being most secure, etc. However, my director at work said "no" so we imaged ALL of our new Win 11 devices back to Windows 10 with it at version 2004 which is already old. It makes no sense, but that is what I was forced by management to do.

  2. Matthew Santacroce (InnoTechLLC)

    There are definitely some rough edges here and there, but when I go back and use a friend's Windows 10 machine, I really appreciate a lot of the changes that were made in Win 11. It really seems a lot snappier too and the look and feel overall is very nice / modern. I would say I have become a strong supporter of Win11.

    • LocalPCGuy

      A few weeks ago I upgraded my Windows 10 Asus Vivobook to Windows 11. When I only use the desktop or taskbar, it was similar in performance. Updates were faster. But, since I can't use the features I'm used to without jumping through hoops, like Task Manager to end services along with some other nagging issues, I restored my latest Windows 10 image. I'm staying on Windows 10 only because it's faster to perform maintenance tasks, and hasn't crashed yet on this 8 month old laptop, unlike Windows 11, which locked up twice in three weeks for no apparent reason. I'll wait for the next feature update mid-year to try 11 again.

      Not too bad, just not polished enough yet.

  3. StagyarZilDoggo

    Talking about "momentum" means they don't want to talk about actual numbers, right? (I mean for Win11 specifically.)

  4. rboxman

    Win11 is abysmal. I'm doing my part to keep as many people away from it as possible. Microsoft doesn't listen to Feedback Hub so the only recourse I have is to try to keep their MAUs as low as possible.

    Can't ungroup/never combine the taskbar? Garbage.

    Can't logically group your pins in the Start menu? Garbage.

    Can't remove the unnecessary recommended section from Start? Garbage.

    Can't drag and drop files to running apps on the taskbar? Garbage.

    Win11 should not be encouraged, supported, or celebrated.

    • rob_segal

      For those people who prefer a simpler and more consistent OS, Windows 11 is better than 10. There are users who never think about doing those 4 things you mentioned. There's more work to be done to make it more consistent, but progress is being made there.

    • skinnyjm

      So rboxman, are you saying "Friends don't let friends use Windows 11" ? :-)

    • jerryh927

      AGREED !!!!!!!

  5. JustDavid

    Where I work we have a few hundred Windows 7 PCs (slowly getting replaced) and several hundred Windows 10 PCs. I prefer my Windows 11 PCs any day, and trying to talk the boss into letting me upgrade this ThinkPad laptop to Windows 11, "for testing purposes"!

  6. madthinus

    It is a little tough to read Panos post and not think “what a lot of self congratulatory bull”.

  7. Donte

    I think Windows 11 is great and would not want to go back to 10. My work Desktop, Laptop and home gaming PC are all on 11.

    I just got a retired Dell Optiplex 3050 from work. It has a 7th gen i5-7500 (quad core), 32gig of RAM and a 1TB Sata-SSD. The motherboard has TPM 2.0 and I just did a clean install of Windows 11 on it.

    Dell does not have drivers for it, but what Windows 11 did not find, Intel Chip set drivers from Intel did.

  8. brettscoast

    Thanks for the heads up Paul, is it correct that we are going to get android apps in next month's major update to Windows 11? Just wondering also if they will be making any changes\additions (current feature set) in the taskbar?

  9. jumpingjackflash5

    Windows is the victim of Microsoft's cloud success. They take it as a starting ramp now, not much cleaning, polishing - it just (somehow) serves for the purpose.

    Sad to say, but now there is good time for some Linux distro/corporation to start gain the momentum and move the world to Linux :-(

  10. blue77star

    This OS is a failure in every possible way.

  11. christophercollins

    I like Windows 11. I do miss some things, but I've adapted.

    For Task Manager, I just hit CTRL-Shift-ESC or right click on the start menu.

    It's not hard to learn a new way to do things. Of course, I expect a tech site to have the most vocal respondents, but there is nothing 'wrong' with Windows 11, it is just different.

    The only OS that was really bad (in my opinion) was Windows 8. Vista gets a bad wrap, but that one had to come out to get driver support, etc... for Windows 7.

    We all bashed Microsoft for not updating the OS look, then we bash them for doing it.

    I'm pretty fond of Windows 11.

    • Donte

      "I expect a tech site to have the most vocal respondents"

      This. All of the people I know that have tried it, prefer it. Some do not like the start button in the middle and once I show them how to move it back to the left they are all good.

      • navarac

        I dislike W11 to the extent I have dumped all Microsoft products, and have gone to Linux. 11 is just really a minor update to 10, but, boy, have they f**ked the Power Users.

        • dmitryko

          boy, have they f**ked the Power

          They don't care about "power users" or veteran "creators" who need powerful desktop applications on a big screen, they now target hordes of mindless ChromeOS / Android "consumers" who are fine with using awfull toy "apps" on a tiny one-finger touchscreen.

          Just advertise to them how taking control from the user is actually making their PCs more "secure", and how making previously straight corners into round ones is such a "groundbreaking" change. Problem solved, Windows 11 has to be the greatest Windows OS ever, since they know nothing about OS versions that preceded Windows 10, and they think the OS consists of nothing more than the UI shell.

          I was very disappointed to see Microsoft reverting to this a mindless beancounter approach, which also makes no sense given how bad their "mobile first, cloud first" strategy played out the first time.

          • dmitryko

            It's the typical "corporate bean counter" approach to design, driven solely by some arbitrary numbers. For example, if you see the usage rate of ChromeOS and Android on the raise, then you need to make Windows resemble ChromeOS and Android, because this is what the customers obviously prefer. Best of all, make it run toy Android apps on giant 24" non-touchscreen displays. Of course these decisions are always backed up by carefully selected usage numberrs, and every customer who doesn't need or want these "features" has to FOAD because the corporation knows better.

            This culture is described in detail in "Car Guys vs. Bean Counters: The Battle for the Soul of American Business" by Bob Lutz. There's a book review in Fortune magazine, "GM's Bob Lutz tells all" by Alex Taylor III.

        • Donte

          Wow that seems like a ton of effort. I have nothing against Linux, I admin some servers but at the Desktop, there is no way I can use it.

    • ronh

      I have 3 PCs in the house with Win 11, and one with 10. My muscles have forgotten some of the Win 10 shortcuts and locations to click. I am used to 11 now and rarely need to hunt for something.

    • Chris Hedlund

      For Task Manager, I just hit CTRL-Shift-ESC or right click on the start menu.

      Thanks for that tip - I didn't know that one...

    • ronh

      I just pinned Task Manager to the Task Bar...

  12. polloloco51

    Guy in photo:

    What have I done? How do I go back to Windows 10?

    What did they do with the right click task manager context menu?

    Why did I buy myself such a small computer?

    LOL ?